Wondering which Portland eateries rise above the rest? Direct and no-nonsense, our guide shares the city’s cream-of-the-crop dining spots. Skip the guesswork and dive straight into a selection of the best Portland restaurants, celebrated for their standout dishes and unique ambiance that fully capture the city’s foodie culture.
Portland offers a diverse culinary scene mixing global flavors, from Thai to French, and emphasizes local ingredients with farm-to-table options.
The city’s casual dining is also notable, featuring a rich food cart culture and eateries that offer authentic street food and sandwich havens.
Beyond dining, Portland shines with its brunch spots, an innovative cocktail scene, and exquisite bars, perfect for both special occasions and casual sipping.
Portland's Finest Dining Experiences
A global culinary hub, Portland offers exceptional dining experiences with flavors from every corner of the world. Stroll through downtown Portland, and you’ll be greeted with a tantalizing array of aromas wafting from the city’s finest restaurants. Whether it’s the soul-warming Yucatecan flavors at Ki’ikibáa or the innovative pizza twists at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland’s restaurant scene is a gastronomic playground for food enthusiasts.
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Beyond the food, Portland’s restaurants boast unique atmospheres, enhancing the overall dining experience. From the charming and personal touch at Luce to the comfortable yet special vibe at Nimblefish, these restaurants create an ambiance that enhances the culinary journey. They’re nestled within neighborhoods known for historic homes turned creative new spaces, providing a unique backdrop to your dining experience.
The signature dish in these establishments epitomize Portland’s diverse culinary scene. Feast on the crispy lumpia and roast pork belly at Magna Kubo or the celebrated Korean barbecue experience at Jeju. Kann’s chef residency is an experience in itself, offering top-notch seafood dishes in an engaging setting.
The dual dining spaces at Dame Collective offer a unique culinary experience, showcasing the city’s passion for creativity and innovation in food.
Elevated Thai Cuisine
For Thai cuisine enthusiasts, Portland offers a wide variety of regional specialties and beloved Thai classics. Renowned restaurants like Thai Noodle Etc., Langbaan, and Somtum Thai Kitchen lead the way by offering authentic Thai dishes that transport you straight to the bustling streets of Thailand.
Diners in Portland are spoiled for choice with a diverse Thai dining scene that caters to every palate. Here are some of the top Thai restaurants in Portland:
Siam Umami: Known for its royal Thai cuisine
Mee Sen Thai Eatery: Offers street food classics
Hat Yai: Famous for its shallot-fried chicken
Phuket Cafe: Serves thinly sliced albacore with peanut brittle crumble
These restaurants showcase the vibrant flavors characteristic of Thai cuisine, including the popular tea leaf salad, setting them apart from a typical Japanese restaurant. With their focus on authentic Thai food, they offer a unique dining experience.
However, these establishments aren’t solely bound by tradition. Places like Eem and Yaowarat incorporate a twist on tradition, combining Thai flavors with American barbecue or blending Thai and Chinese flavors for a unique culinary experience. This fusion of flavors and creativity is what sets Portland’s Thai cuisine scene apart, making it a must-visit for any food lover.
French Fare with a Pacific Northwest Twist
While French cuisine is globally recognized for its sophistication and meticulousness, Portland adds a delightful twist to this traditional fare. Places like Le Pigeon and St. Jack have seamlessly fused French cuisine with a Pacific Northwest twist, creating dishes that are a true reflection of Portland’s culinary landscape.
The influence of French cuisine extends beyond these establishments. Restaurants such as Bergerac, Normandie, and Cafe Du Berry offer robust classic French dining with dishes such as duck confit and a regionally adored French onion soup, showcasing the best of French food. Petit Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie entices with French brunch options that make use of regional ingredients, including a variety of quiches and omelets.
However, the French influence is not limited to savory dishes. The chocolate croissant made with local Woodblock chocolate at Bakeshop and the delicious pastries at Frog & Snail, Maurice, and Angel Face showcase French pastries with a Pacific Northwest flair, providing a sweet end to your gastronomic journey.
Given its location amidst lush farmland and plentiful produce, Portland naturally hosts a multitude of farm-to-table favorites. These restaurants are celebrated for their dedication to sustainability and the use of locally sourced ingredients, offering a culinary experience that truly reflects the rich bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Some of the top farm-to-table restaurants in Portland include:
These restaurants prioritize fresh, seasonal ingredients and showcase the best of what the region has to offer.
Restaurants like Noble Rot not only serve farm-to-table dishes but also feature unique elements like rooftop gardens where they grow greens used in their menus. This commitment to freshness and sustainability is a cornerstone of Portland’s dining scene, where the farm-to-table ethos is not just a trend, but a way of life.
Dining at these establishments is a feast for the senses. You can savor standout dishes like:
Imaginative tasting menus that highlight the Pacific Northwest’s diverse produce
Each bite is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to quality and a celebration of the region’s agricultural abundance.
Portland’s dining scene is a global fusion of flavors, providing a gastronomical journey that crosses continents. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Japanese, or Peruvian, you’ll find a restaurant that serves up an authentic taste of these cuisines.
Italian food lovers will delight in the exquisite handmade pasta and comprehensive wine list at Casa Vacca, while those craving for Japanese cuisine can savor Tokyo Sando’s Japanese-style shokupan sandwiches and Yataimura Maru’s menu of sushi, ramen, and small izakaya plates. Andina serves as Portland’s premier destination for Peruvian cuisine, with dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado showcasing the vibrant and distinct flavors of Peru.
The city’s culinary diversity doesn’t stop there. You can also explore Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine at Tusk, where dishes like hummus and vegetarian sides are noted for their unique flavors. This amalgamation of international flavors makes Portland a foodie haven, offering a world of culinary delights in one city.
Casual Eats And Food Carts
Portland dining is not solely about upscale dining experiences. The city’s casual dining scene offers a diverse array of cuisines and comfort foods in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. From sushi featuring locally caught fish to Guyanese food, Portland’s food carts and casual eateries offer a culinary adventure that’s easy on the wallet but big on flavor.
Casual dining spots like Fermenter Kombucha Brew Pub and Kee’s Loaded Kitchen are known for their carefully crafted dishes, serving everything from sandwiches and bowls to classic comfort foods. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or want to indulge in your favorite comfort foods late at night, you’ll find a place that hits the spot.
The vibrant food cart culture is a quintessential part of Portland’s culinary landscape. From Jojo Food Truck’s fried chicken and tofu sandwiches to Nong’s Khao Man Gai’s poached chicken and aromatic jasmine rice, these mobile eateries offer a taste of the city’s culinary diversity, one cart at a time.
Given the city’s thriving food cart and casual eatery culture, Portland naturally emerges as a paradise for sandwich enthusiasts. From classic deli-style offerings to creative concoctions, the city’s sandwich shops cater to every craving and taste bud.
Innovative sandwich shops like Stacked Sandwich Shop and Break Bread are pushing the envelope with creations like the 48-hour braised oxtail French dip, turkey variations such as the Chubby Puggy, a delicious soft shell crab sandwich, and even a mouthwatering fried egg sandwich. These places are not just about serving sandwiches; they’re about creating a culinary experience that’s packed between two slices of bread.
Food cart culture enriches the sandwich scene, with places like Jojo Food Truck and Fried Egg I’m In Love drawing in crowds for their flavorful offerings. Whether it’s a classic sandwich or a unique creation that fuses different culinary traditions, Portland’s sandwich scene offers a myriad of options to satisfy your hunger.
Authentic Street Food
For those seeking to experience genuine street food flavors, Portland is the ideal destination. From the rich flavors of Mexican tortas at Güero No. 1 Tortas to the tangy and delicious Vietnamese bánh mì at Best Baguette, the city’s street food scene is a celebration of global cuisines.
The street food offerings in the city are as diverse as the city itself. Some options include:
Texas-style barbecue at Podnah’s BBQ
Hawaiian favorites at Ate-Oh-Ate
Indian street food like vada pav and kati rolls at Bollywood Theater
Mayan flavors with specialties like panuchos and salbutes at Ki’ikibáa
Every food cart and casual eatery tells a story, offering a culinary journey that transcends borders.
In Portland, street food doesn’t mean compromising on quality. These establishments pride themselves on using fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods to create dishes that are flavorful and authentic. So, whether you’re a local or a tourist, make sure to take a bite out of Portland’s vibrant street food scene.
Who can resist a good slice of pizza? In Portland, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to this beloved dish. From classic Italian to innovative creations, the city’s pizza scene offers something for everyone.
Pizzerias like Paladin Pie, Vincenzo’s, and Pizza Thief take inspiration from all over the world, offering everything from kimchi and bacon pizzas to hand-tossed rounds and New York-style sourdough creations. Whether you’re a fan of thin crust or deep dish, you’ll find a pizza that satisfies your craving.
However, the city’s pizza scene isn’t confined to traditional methods. Places like East Glisan Pizza Lounge, The Star, and Nostrana are pushing the boundaries of what a pizza can be, offering everything from Detroit-style pies to Neapolitan-inspired toppings, and even wood fired pizza. Lovely’s Fifty Fifty is also worth a mention for its dedication to using exclusively Oregon-sourced produce, topping their pizzas with seasonal items like rainbow chard and fermented tomatoes. These innovative twists on a classic dish make dining in Portland a truly unique experience.
Unforgettable Brunch Spots
Brunch enthusiasts are in for a treat in Portland. The city’s brunch scene offers a perfect blend of traditional American breakfast options and international culinary influences. From cozy French cafes to innovative eateries, there’s a brunch spot for every taste and occasion.
In Portland, brunch transcends a simple meal and becomes a culinary event. Whether you’re indulging in a distinctly French brunch at Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie or savoring the lavish offerings at Rue Cler Marketplace, you’re sure to start your day off right. If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try the wood-fired pizzas and inventive breakfast sandwiches at Cafe Olli?
Despite brunch being a mid-morning meal, it doesn’t exclude the indulgence of sweet treats. Portland’s brunch spots offer a variety of artisanal and internationally inspired pastries, making it the perfect opportunity to satisfy your sweet tooth while enjoying a leisurely meal.
Classic American Breakfasts
Though Portland’s culinary scene is a fusion of flavors, at times, a classic American breakfast is unbeatable. The city’s cozy cafes serve up time-honored breakfast dishes that are sure to start your day off on the right foot.
Historic gems like Besaw’s have been serving up American breakfast classics for over a century. From corned beef hash to wild huckleberry pancakes, these dishes are a testament to the city’s culinary heritage and a reminder of the comforting flavors of home.
However, these establishments aren’t solely bound by tradition. Places like The Original Pancake House are pushing the boundaries of what a classic American breakfast can be, with offerings like the Dutch Baby, an air-filled pastry topped with lemon, butter, and powdered sugar. These unique takes on traditional dishes are what make Portland’s breakfast scene truly special.
For those seeking to diversify their brunch experience, Portland’s globally-inspired brunch spots are the perfect destinations. From eclectic fusion cuisine to traditional comfort food, these eateries offer a unique twist on the classic brunch.
Take your taste buds on a global culinary journey at Malka, where you can savor dishes like the ‘Ricotta Hotcake Situation’, a fusion of global culinary traditions that’s sure to delight. Or, take a trip to Mother’s Bistro & Bar, where the ‘mother of the month’ feature spotlights comfort food specialties from different mothers internationally.
Looking for a customizable brunch buffet experience? Hunnymilk offers a choice of a drink, savory item, and a sweet item, incorporating unique dishes from various cuisines into their menu. This innovative approach to brunch makes for a memorable dining experience that’s sure to leave you craving for more.
Sweet Treats And Pastries
In terms of sweet treats and pastries, Portland certainly delivers. The city is home to a variety of artisanal and internationally inspired pastries, making it a haven for anyone with a sweet tooth. Some must-try pastries include:
Oyatsupan’s Japanese melon pan
Petit Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie’s croissants
Frog & Snail’s brioche
With these options, you’re sure to find a pastry that caters to your sweet cravings.
However, the array of sweet treats doesn’t end there. Why not try the cherry blossom cake at Mio’s Delectables or the tart cherry and key lime pies at Lauretta Jean’s? With so many options to choose from, there’s no better way to end your brunch than with a delightful pastry from one of Portland’s bakeries.
Top Bars and Cocktail Lounges
Following a day filled with culinary exploration, relax at one of Portland’s premier bars and cocktail lounges. Known for their innovative mixology and exceptional spirits, these establishments offer an immersive cocktail experience that’s sure to delight. Some of the top bars in Portland include:
Pink Rabbit: renowned for concoctions like a ghee-washed tequila and bell pepper-infused mezcal drink
Scotch Lodge: known for its curated spirit selection
Expatriate: offers a range of options including both boozy and fruit punch-like cocktails, as well as a respectable selection of wines
These bars showcase the city’s reputation as a haven for exceptional drinks and provide an engaging bar experience for all.
Portland’s cocktail culture isn’t confined to its bars alone. Restaurants like Sousòl and Wilder also offer innovative cocktails, adding a Caribbean twist or maintaining a minimalist yet deep menu, respectively. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or a casual drinker, Portland’s bars and lounges offer a unique tasting experience that’s worth exploring.
Scotch Lodge is a must-visit for aficionados of fine spirits. Recognized by Esquire as one of the best bars in the country, this renowned whiskey bar is known for its impressive collection of rare Scotch-style whiskies.
Scotch Lodge offers an array of rare and unique whiskey bottles from around the world, including sought-after items such as Kilchoman SLWC Sauternes Cask 10yr and Octomore 14.1,2,3. Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or a novice eager to explore, you’ll find a whiskey that suits your palate at this whiskey wonderland.
In addition to its unparalleled whiskey selection, Scotch Lodge pairs its drinks with inventive dishes such as oysters with granita and pappardelle with seaweed butter. Whether you’re visiting for the whiskey or the ambiance, Scotch Lodge offers an unforgettable experience that transcends the ordinary.
Wine enthusiasts will find an abundance of choices in Portland. The city’s wine bars and lounges offer a diverse selection of wines, from local Oregon wines to European imports. Whether you’re a fan of natural wines or prefer traditional varietals, you’ll find a spot that caters to your preferences. Some wine bars in Portland include:
Nil. Wine Bar
Vino Veritas Wine Bar
These establishments offer curated selections of natural wines, prioritize wines from Oregonian and Californian producers, and have a dedication to Italian wines, respectively, making them ideal for wine pairing experiences.
For a unique wine tasting experience, The Portland Wine Bar & Winery Tasting Room offers an array of flights and food pairings, allowing you to explore the flavors and nuances of wines from small Oregon producers. Whether you’re a seasoned wine lover or a casual drinker, Portland’s wine bars offer a tasting experience that’s sure to delight.
Portland’s cocktail culture is celebrated for its inventive mixology. Bars like Voysey, Deadshot, and Palomar are shaking up the cocktail scene with bold flavors and unconventional ingredients, offering a unique tasting experience that’s sure to impress.
Voysey offers a hidden cocktail experience with themed, balanced drinks, while Deadshot’s modernist lounge delivers bold flavors with unconventional ingredients. Whether you prefer a classic cocktail or something a little more adventurous, you’ll find a drink that tantalizes your taste buds at these innovative cocktail bars.
For a cocktail experience with a twist, try Palomar. This bar infuses a Miami vibe into their concoctions, creating drinks like a salted pineapple, root beer, and absinthe cocktail. If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, Kann stands out with its innovative zero-proof cocktails, embracing the movement of alcohol-free alternatives with a contemporary twist.
Special Occasion Splurges
Portland’s fine dining scene, a key part of Portland’s restaurant scene, promises impressive culinary experiences for celebrating special occasions. From traditional steakhouses to modernist cuisine, the best restaurants in Portland offer exquisite dining experiences that are worth the splurge. Discover the top Portland restaurants for your next unforgettable meal.
Whether celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or simply treating yourself to an exceptional meal, establishments like Coquine and Castagna offer unique Chef’s Tasting menus that change daily, as well as a la carte menu options. These menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients and modernist dishes, making them the perfect choice for celebrating important life events.
For a truly upscale dining experience, Tercet offers:
An ultrarefined dining experience without pretension
A prix fixe menu priced at $150 per person
Curated fine dining and elegant ambiance
A venue well-suited for special events or upscale date nights.
Tasting Menu Treasures
For an ultimate culinary treat, indulge in a multi-course tasting menu that showcases the skills of Portland’s top chefs. Places like Erizo and Republica offer artfully constructed tasting menus that take you on a journey of flavors and textures, making each course a delightful surprise.
At Erizo, the menu changes weekly and features approximately 20 courses, highlighting foraged sea creatures, fermentation, and unique fish sauces. At Republica, the menu is inspired by pre and post-colonial Mexican cuisine, offering a taste of history with each bite.
Le Pigeon also offers a tasting menu that exhibits chef Gabriel Rucker’s playful culinary style. Dishes like beer can chicken with black truffle alfredo and a signature foie gras profiterole are sure to delight your palate and provide a memorable dining experience.
Searching for an ideal spot for a romantic dinner? Portland’s dining scene offers a variety of cozy and romantic restaurants that are perfect for date nights. Whether it’s the warmly-lit dining room at Urdaneta or the candlelit banquettes at St. Jack, these establishments provide a romantic ambiance that’s sure to set the mood.
Urdaneta offers a diverse selection of pintxos and tapas, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. At St. Jack, diners can indulge in fresh seafood offerings and champagne, adding to the luxurious and indulgent atmosphere. These dining experiences are not just about the food; they’re about creating memories that last a lifetime.
For a gourmet Italian culinary experience on their romantic outing, couples can head over to Mucca Osteria. With its handmade pasta and a selection of fine wines, Mucca Osteria offers a dining experience that’s as romantic as it is delicious.
Planning a group gathering? Portland’s dining scene has a multitude of options. From spacious dining rooms to menus that cater to a variety of tastes, these restaurants are perfect for celebrations, family get-togethers, or simply a night out with friends.
Nostrana offers an inviting atmosphere that’s well-suited for group gatherings, with ample space for larger parties. With a menu featuring antipasti plates, house-made pasta, and charred pizzas, Nostrana is ideal for sharing amongst a group, allowing everyone to indulge in a variety of flavors.
Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a family reunion, or a casual get-together, these establishments offer a welcoming ambiance and a diverse menu that caters to all tastes. So, gather your loved ones and head over to one of these restaurants for a memorable group dining experience in Portland.
From elevated Thai cuisine to innovative pizza creations, farm-to-table favorites to international flavors, Portland’s restaurant scene offers a culinary adventure that’s sure to delight. Whether you’re indulging in a fine dining experience, grabbing a quick bite from a food cart, or enjoying a leisurely brunch, the city’s diverse culinary landscape caters to every palate and preference. So, the next time you’re in Portland, be sure to embark on this gastronomic journey and savor the culinary delights that this vibrant city has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What food is Portland Oregon famous for?
Portland, Oregon is famous for its diverse food scene, featuring must-taste delicacies like the Maple Bacon bar at Voodoo Doughnuts, the Reggie Deluxe at Pine State Biscuits, and the khao man gai at Nong's. Enjoy exploring the city's culinary delights!
What is the hardest restaurant to get into in Portland?
The hardest restaurant to get into in Portland is Langbaan, known for serving historic regional Thai dishes, some from ancient royalty's cookbooks, and typically booked out a month in advance.
How many restaurants are there in Portland Oregon?
There are 536 registered food service establishments with food preparation in Portland, Oregon, which averages to one restaurant for every 118 people living in the city.
Is Portland a foodie city?
Yes, Portland is considered the "Second Best Foodie City" in the country, according to a ranking by WalletHub. They compared 180 U.S. cities and Portland ranked 2nd overall.
What are some of the best fine dining restaurants in Portland?
Check out restaurants like Ki'ikibáa for Yucatecan cuisine, Jeju for Korean barbecue, Norah for vegan pan-Asian dishes, and Kann for an acclaimed chef's residency. Enjoy a diverse range of fine dining experiences in Portland.